Why Aren’t You Drawing RN?

In an effort to show that I’m still alive and kicking (well maybe not kicking so much) I want to share a new introductory video from my YouTube channel.

It’s a short, somewhat motivational video intended to inspire the viewer through shame.

“What, are you watching too many YouTube videos?”

It’s my first attempt at a video other than a speed drawing, it’s a bit experimental, I hope you enjoy!

Coming Out of Stasis

How have y’all been? How you holding up in these strange days of COVID-19?

I hope you are well.

Even though the past few months have been spent mostly indoors, I haven’t accomplished very much creatively. I’ve discovered that working remotely in the construction industry is just as stressful as being there in person. Plus making home cooked meals on a daily basis and the dirty dishes that follow take up quite a bit of time and energy.

And don’t get me started on Dr. Mario:

Clip of Nintendo game in which Doctor Mario drops a yellow pill onto the germs

In the past few weeks things have started returning somewhat to normal here in New York City. We can now get haircuts again. We can drink alcohol and dine outdoors at tables set up literally in the street. Everyone’s riding bikes because the subway creeps them out. Most people are wearing masks. I’m exhausted again having returned to the office full time.

Noir Spiderman Into the Spiderverse costume with Rubik's cube.
On the bright side, I didn’t think I would ever get to wear this Halloween costume again.

I’m a bit more motivated now coming out of stasis and trying to produce some new works.

Vampire creature flying in front of full moon pencil sketch by M. R. Kessell

I recently finished a decent sized short story. I’ve started sketching up a horror comedy comic book. I’ve made a handful of digital illustrations. I’ve started recording music again. And there was something else I wanted to tell you…

Oh yeah, I started a YouTube channel.

This channel will be a place to showcase my art, animation and music. And to possibly offer tips and tricks. Please check it out and subscribe if you have a few minutes.

Alejandro Jodorowsky digital oil portrait by M. R. Kessell
Alejandro Jodorowsky offering us a glimpse deep into his mind. There’s a bunch of weird stuff there.

I am notoriously anti-viral

First thing’s first:

cartoon man struggles to not touch his own face

How’s everyone holding up in the days of the coronavirus? I hope you’re all staying safe.

I am currently working from my shoe box-sized home, my anxiety levels are off the charts, and I have been neglecting all of my creative outlets.

I figured I would share some of the things I’ve actually accomplished since the start of our current global crisis. The graphic above was something I thought I could send out into the world as a sort of PSA. A reminder for people.

I don’t know if it helped.

space girl floating admiring a distant galaxy.

You might not know that I love science fiction. But I do! Beep. Bop. Boop. I am a robot from Mars.

Right now, living in NYC, I’ve been going a little crazy, dreaming of more space, and that led me to create the image above. You can see the full image over in my portfolio.

Aside from that, I haven’t really been able to focus. Social media (mostly Twitter) has been creeping back, distracting me again and again. The news doesn’t help either. Does anyone else have these issues?

I should really get back to work.

If you happen to find yourself bored at home for some reason, my e-book is available for FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Some Art and Updates

Forgive me followers, I have sinned, it’s been about six months since my last blog post.

I set myself some ambitious goals at the start of the year. But then I promptly forgot them, made some new goals, gave up on those, circled back to the first ones, fell into a creative slump, told myself that I need to just read more, got a second creative wind, decided to study French (pas pour la première fois), thought more about the original goals, binge-watched the second season of Mindhunter on Netflix, I had a turkey sandwich, and now I am here. Maybe just a quick nap first…

I’m not going to lie, the past six months haven’t been completely devoid of creative work, but I always feel like I should be doing more.

Sometimes I feel like I’m on the wrong path.

I’d like to share some stuff I’ve been working on recently. That hideous scene of eldritch horrors above is one of a handful of things added to my portfolio page. If anyone is in need of any Lovecraftian artwork for a book cover or to accompany any short stories, please let me know. I’d love to find some creative people to collaborate with!

I go through periods in which I focus on one medium to the detriment of all others. You could say I become obsessed. I recently decided again to work on this polymer clay maquette above, which I had started about three years ago. This is one of my latest goals, to finish this vulture goddess sculpt soon. We’ll see what happens.

A little time-lapse sneak peek.

The video above is my most recent work-in-progress, a follow up to probably my favorite piece from last year. Definitely the spiciest from last year. This is one of the last steps after the ink and watercolors have dried, the removal of the masking fluid. I should probably start the time-lapse recording a bit earlier next time, I’m just never confident enough that the piece will be successful.

Stay tuned for the finished piece and hopefully some other new weirdness.

À bientôt!

I’m a Social Media Junkie

As a creative person, I think I have a problem with certain types of social media. I don’t have a healthy relationship with things like Instagram and Facebook. I admit that now. It’s good to get it out.

Cyclops monster obsesses over his smart phone

I get into these phases in which I begin posting quite often, maybe giving updates on a certain project, and I become addicted to the likes, to the attention. I check obsessively to see if there are any new followers. I’m a genius right? Shouldn’t I have thousands of adoring fans? Like so-and-so over there?

I begin comparing myself to those others who don’t seem to offer the same quality work that I provide. Or I begin questioning why seventeen thousand people would follow such an account. What do they know? Are they even real people?

I begin thinking up strategies on how to draw these followers to my side. I begin churning out junk that I think could be popular with certain crowds. It usually ends up being sub par and rushed.

I ignore the one person’s opinion that really matters in the end, my own.

It’s like Kurt Vonnegut says: “Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.”

Alien man with many eyes takes a selfie with smart phone

So, what do I intend to do about it?

I need to step back and have some quiet time, some “me” time, to reflect on the art and story ideas that really excite me.

That’s what I did this past week. I’ve chewed on the subject of this post for days. I also sat down with my sketchbook and thought about social media, these accompanying doodles are the result.

I should not invest so much time and energy in social media apps. I will try to connect with real people on the internet, only when I have a free moment here or there. I’ve joined the community at AbsoluteWrite and I hope to make some new friends, have some good conversations, and learn some things too.

Man likes his own smart phone selfie

I need to remind myself that Instagram is a tool that I can utilize periodically, like a hammer or a toothbrush. I don’t need to obsessively use it every day.